Geno Smith and David Garrard let the cat out of the bag about Smith starting against the Raiders this week early on Monday and coach Rex Ryan confirmed it during his afternoon press conference.
“I’m going to go with Geno as our quarterback,” Ryan said, via the team’s website. “I believe in Geno. I think he has the tools to be a good quarterback in this league.”
Seth Walder of the New York Daily News reports that Ryan also said that he’s impressed by Smith’s perseverance and that he’s “just waiting for him to have a great game.” Smith’s had one of those so far in his rookie season and it came in the first week of October. Since then, Smith has thrown one touchdown and 11 interceptions while completing just 29 passes over his last four starts. Given all of that, it’s probably best that Ryan not hold his breath while he’s waiting for that game to unspool itself.
Ryan also said that General Manager John Idzik and others are involved in the decision, which could provide some insight into Ryan’s future with the team. While none of the Jets’ quarterback options or skill position players offere them a particularly bright outlook, sticking with Smith through this hellish patch of play isn’t really a move that fits with a coach desperate to start winning games.
It may have nothing to do with that since Ryan himself said that watching tape of Smith and Matt Simms from Sunday does neither guy any favors, but the question of whether Ryan will be around in 2014 will move front and center as the Jets’ playoff chances make their exit.